Language : Telugu.
Director : Vivek Athreya
Writers : Vivek Athreya
Cast : Nani, Nazriya Nazim, V.K. Naresh, Azhagam Perumal, Nadia Moidu, Tanvi Ram, Rohini
Genre : Comedy | Romance.
Streaming in Theatres near you.
Ante Sundaraniki, the third outing of director Vivek Athreya is another successful addition to his short yet attractive filmography. Backed by Vivek’s signature style screenplay and some wonderful performances, Ante Sundaraniki becomes a pleasing watch.
For me, Vivek’s previous feature Brochevaruevarura stood out for its impressive screenplay that remarkably intertwined two parallel stories, serving us a fun-filled thriller driven by coincidences. He pretty much carries on the same smartness in Ante as well. In a nutshell, this is a film that talks about the struggles of two inter-religious lovers to get married against the beliefs of their families. This might sound generic as a one-liner but the writing and performances make all the difference.
The story unfolds from the perspective of the protagonist played by Nani and only reveals its many details when his character Sundar decides to break it to his audience in the film. This keeps us guessing about the trajectory the film would traverse, especially during the first half. While the ‘what-next’ keeps you invested, the proceedings feel stretched for much longer than required. On the other hand, the second half is more well balanced with comedy, confusion, and the emotional bits contributing equally to its success. Vivek quite amusingly puts his characters in a serious tapestry. This not only raises tension within the narrative but also leaves you to ponder the impeccable command of the writer-director over his craft. As the film reaches its last lap, he beautifully untangles his plot, providing us with some genuine heart-touching moments.
Ante Sundaraniki speaks about a very talked-about issue – beliefs. While it hilariously and effectively puts forward its point from Sundar’s side of the story, the same cannot be claimed about Leela’s (Nazriya) side. The space given to her family and issues seemed shorter when compared to that of Sundar’s and at no point does one feel that the issue is a big deal on their end. While I’m just nit-picking, this would have helped the movie in being more powerful with its message.
The cast is at their best here. Nani is back to his comic ways and his innocence-driven performance and command over verbal humour are a joy to watch. Nazriya is back after a while and her natural charm and cuteness gel in well with the character. She does well in the emotional and comical bits and continues her magic with expressions. Naresh is superb as usual. He gets to showcase a plethora of emotions throughout the film and he’s absolutely a treat to watch especially in sequences with Nani. Rohini, Azhagam Perumal, and Nadhiya also get meaty roles and they’ve done justice to it.
As mentioned, Ante Sundaraniki belongs to Vivek Athreya. He shines well in both departments but his writing duties dominate his directorial showing. Niketh Bommi’s eye-catchy frames accentuate the light-hearted vibe of the film. Songs from Vivek Sagar are fine but the editing could have been crisper in the first half.
Overall, Ante Sundaraniki from this talented team is a commendable attempt at creating a genuine rom-com. The focused script and meticulous screenplay aided by superlative performances guarantee that one would leave the screens with a smile on their face.
Verdict : 4/7 stars
Thank you so much